For Robert Saleh, the phrase was, “All gas, no brakes.” For new defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans, the slogan appears to be, “Iron sharpens iron.” Ryan used that phase multiple times on Saturday, describing the education his defense was getting from Trey Lance.
Lance gashed the defense for would-be big plays multiple times throughout the practice, which Ryan said he appreciated after the fact.
I’m very appreciative for our offense when they put those plays in, the zone-read type plays, QB movement runs. It’s very helpful for us as a defense so when we do face teams like that during the season, it’s not the first time that we’re preparing for it, right? So we have a chance to go through it, to learn, our guys get a chance to learn actually how to defend it versus different defenses. So it’s really, really great work for us. And Trey does, like you said, he broke out today on a couple, he’s doing an excellent job of running those plays as well. So it’s good work on both sides, iron sharpening iron.
For us to get a, a great look from him, it’s the best thing we can ask for a defense. And we don’t have to try to manufacture it by putting a wide receiver at quarterback or a running back, back there and trying to do the old wild cat stuff. Like we get a real live look at a very bonafide quarterback who’s capable of running all those plays.”
It’s no secret how mobile quarterbacks have tormented the 49ers’ defense over the past few years. Kyler Murray alone has burned them for 67 yards per game on the ground in his young career - at 7.8 yards per carry.
Considering almost 25% of the team’s schedule is against Murray and Russell Wilson, the defense needs all the help it can get protecting against quarterbacks on the ground.